A method is presented for the analysis of high purity mercury. In comparison with methods for determining impurities in other matrices, this method is unique, both for its simplicity and for its low limits of detection. The sample is converted to HgO and burned in a dc arc. The sample spectra are recorded on a photographic plate and impurities are determined by visual reference to spectra of standards photographed on the same plate. Detection limits are low enough to make the method useful for acceptance or rejection of 99.9999% purity mercury. This method is also useful for evaluating the purification of solutions of other metals by mercury pool electrolysis.

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